According to research and analysis from FlexJobs, telecommuting jobs increased 36 percent from 2014 to 2015 in comparison to 26 percent from 2013 to 2014. This could be good news for the 2 million Americans who quit their day jobs every month as well as for those who are looking for more flexibility to travel the world. Enjoy the consistency of a paycheck without the location dependence of working in a physical office.
While finding a telecommuting or remote work job is within reach, it can still ultimately restrict your mobility for travel and flexibility while navigating time changes and transit time. And just because your job allows remote work, it doesn’t mean they are comfortable with their employees globetrotting the world during office hours. Fortunately, there’s another option to get paid to travel. Join the gig economy and utilize the skills you already have to earn money while traveling the world. Here’s how to get started.
Choose Your Gig
There are endless gigs to choose from in the ever-growing gig economy, but not all are created equally. For example, Uber may not require you to work in an office but still relies on the needs of a car. It also doesn’t scale if you’re looking to hop from country to country. But if you’re great with tools and your hands, assembling furniture from IKEA is a lucrative gig in most major U.S. cities.
Meanwhile, if you’re traveling abroad, use sites like UpWork to land jobs that match your skills like writing, graphic design or project management. While UpWork and similar sites where workers bid on jobs can be a race to the bottom of the pay scale, you can set your preferences to only bid on high-paying jobs requiring a specific amount of experience.
Make a list of the skills and responsibilities you tackled while working a regular 9 to 5 and advertise those services locally. Former hairdressers turned long-term travelers can offer hair-cuts at hostels and campgrounds to other global explorers who need a quit cut on the go. Meanwhile, teachers can advertise conversational English classes at coffee shops or college campuses and hold classes to increase their earnings. If you’re not sure what you want to do, research what’s in demand in the city you’re visiting. For example, if you enjoy spending time with others, give a tour of an area you know and love, like one that addresses the history of a specific neighborhood you’re traveling through.
Build Your Own Business
It can take some time to get your own business off the ground, but it’s an ideal way to keep your skills fresh, your resume updated and your income thriving. Best of all, you’ll never have to answer to a boss again or leave the road until you’re ready. Perhaps cultivate your skills as a content strategist to help travel bloggers grow their online presence through digital and in-person workshops. You can also approach businesses abroad catering to tourists and offer to edit their marketing materials and even their food menus for English speakers.
Tapping into an existing business is also an option. Most businesses you can purchase work like a franchise and still require some type of brick and mortar location. Instead, choose a global company that sells products like Amway or Young Living and run free workshops and speeches on how to use the products to improve health or the quality of your life.
There are plenty of ways to earn on the road that don’t require an office or a boss. Best of all, you’ll hone your people and sales skills by sharing the type of work you love best and contributing to the world’s gig economy.